About

First in Canada to offer integrated studies in jazz, contemporary improvisation, gospel, world music and ethnomusicology.
Theatre Students

ABOUT

Music

We invite you to share your music, find your vision, and build the future by studying in the Department of Music. We are a dynamic music program that offers focused study in a chosen area while also making it possible to explore other musical possibilities.

York University has led in innovative post-secondary music studies since the 1970s. The Department of Music was the first in Canada to offer integrated studies in jazz, contemporary improvisation, gospel music, world music performance, and ethnomusicology.

Music at York combines a flexible program with individual attention to prepare students for their future careers. Courses in jazz, gospel, western classical, world, and contemporary music develop music skills and engage students in music creation (performance, composition, improvisation), studies (ethnomusicology, musicology, popular music studies), and community practice (education, community music, career-related placements).





This flexibility makes it possible for students either to specialize in a specific area (such as choral music, film composition, vocal jazz, gospel, cello) or to design a diversified individual plan of study.

Theatre Students

Your Community

The Undergraduate Program is founded on the principles of diversity and inclusion, and is unique in recognizing students with musical talent and ambition who arrive with a rich variety of musical backgrounds. It builds on these experiences by providing a common foundation in the first two years through four core courses to develop the skills necessary for ongoing music creation, studies, and community practice. During their final two years, students specialize further and can explore the full range of options available to them.

OUR CREATIVE SPACES

Tribute Communities Recital Hall

HIGHLIGHTS

A Brief History

1961
York University appoints music director, William McCauley, who is to direct extracurricular music activities on York’s campuses.
1967
The York University Choir is awarded the City of Lincoln Trophy by the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals.
1968
York University establishes a pioneering new faculty of Fine Arts, including Music, and appoints Jules Heller as founding Dean.
1969
Founding and first Chair of Music at York, Sterling Beckwith designs the innovative program, and the first music majors are enrolled.
1971
South Indian percussionist Trichy Sankaran joins the faculty, marking a milestone in Canadian ethnomusicology.
1972
Robert Witmer founds the first program in jazz studies at a Canadian university.
1973
Austin Clarkson becomes Chair of the Department of Music.
1980
The Department awards its first MA in ethnomusicology.
1984
Oscar Peterson joins the faculty as adjunct professor.
1997
The Department launches the MA in composition.
1999
The first PhD in the Department is conferred.
2005
Karen Burke joins the faculty, introducing Gospel Music for the first time in a Canadian university.
2006
Music moves to its current home in the Accolate East building, which includes the Tribute Communities Recital Hall.
2009
Ron Westray joins as Oscar Peterson Chair in Jazz Performance, established with the support of the Government of Ontario.
2012
The Music Students Association (MSA) presents the first Media Music Concert, of film, television, and video-game music by students.
2015
The Faculty of Fine Arts changes its name to the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design.

FACULTY AND STAFF

People of Music

Associate Professor

Rob Bowman

Associate Professor

Karen Burke

Professor Emeritus

Barry Elmes

Associate Professor

Al Henderson

Associate Professor

Sherry Johnson

Professor Emeritus

Arthur Levine

Associate Professor

Stephanie Martin

Professor

Christina Petrowska Quilico

Professor

Jay Rahn

Professor Emeritus

Trichy Sankaran

Associate Professor

Robert Simms

Professor Emeritus

Casey Sokol

Associate Professor

William Thomas

Contract Faculty

Matt Vander Woude

Associate Professor

Sundar Viswanathan

Associate Professor

Patricia Wait

Associate Professor

Ron Westray

Associate Professor

Louise Wrazen

Professor Emeritus

Robert Sterling Beckwith

Professor Emeritus

Austin Clarkson

Professor Emeritus

David Lidov

Professor Emeritus

David Mott

Professor Emeritus

Steven Otto

Professor Emeritus

Philip Werren

Professor Emeritus

William Westcott

Professor Emeritus

Robert Witmer

Contract Faculty

Barbara Ackerman

Contract Faculty

William Beauvais

Contract Faculty

Stephanie Bogle

Contract Faculty

Susan Black

Contract Faculty

Gareth Burgess

Contract Faculty

Norma Burrowes

Contract Faculty

Corey Butler

Assistant Professor

Mike Cadó

Contract Faculty

Judith Cohen

Contract Faculty

Tara Davidson

Contract Faculty

Rita di Ghent

Contract Faculty

Mark Eisenman

Contract Faculty

Frank Falco

Contract Faculty

Kelly Jefferson

Contract Faculty

Brian Katz

Contract Faculty

Rick Lazar

Contract Faculty

Lorne Lofsky

Contract Faculty

James MacDonald

Contract Faculty

Irene Markoff

Contract Faculty

Anthony Michelli

Contract Faculty

Ravi Naimpally

Contract Faculty

Raisa Nakhmanovich

Contract Faculty

Roy Patterson

Contract Faculty

Barry Romberg

Contract Faculty

Arthure Ardie Roth

Contract Faculty

Roger Scannura

Contract Faculty

Karen Rymal

Contract Faculty

Philip Seguin

Contract Faculty

Phig Choy Sue

Contract Faculty

Jennifer Taylor

Contract Faculty

Peter James Vivian

Contract Faculty

Kevin Turcotte

Contract Faculty

Richard Whiteman

Contract Faculty

Sharlene Wallace

Contract Faculty

Ray Williams

Contract Faculty

Sacha Williamson

Associate Professor

Lisette Canton

Associate Professor

Michael Coghlan

Associate Professor

Mark Chambers

Professor Emeritus

Dorothy de Val

Associate Professor

Doug Van Nort

Assistant Professor

Randolph Peters

Contract Faculty

Abounasr Amir Koushkani

Contract Faculty

Anne Lederman

Contract Faculty

Charles Matthew Brubeck

Contract Faculty

Don Englert

Contract Faculty

Edward Moroney

Contract Faculty

Edward Tait

Contract Faculty

Edward Wilson

Contract Faculty

Eric Hall

Contract Faculty

James Stager

Contract Faculty

John Brownell

Contract Faculty

John David Lum

Contract Faculty

Larry K. Graves

Contract Faculty

Mark Skazinetsky

Contract Faculty

Robert John Cappelletto

Contract Faculty

Sharon Marshall

Contract Faculty

Stephen Koven

Assistant Professor

Noam Lemish

Assistant Professor

Amy Hillis

Contract Faculty

Richard Moore

MUSIC AT YORK STUDENTS

Perks

Enriched Experiences

Featured Guests

Through the year, special guests are invited from the professional and academic worlds to give seminars, offer specialized workshops, give guest lectures, and provide career guidance, with the annual week-long residency of the Oscar Peterson Jazz Artist-in-Residence providing a major highlight.

Performance Opportunities

Performance Opportunities

Course-based, faculty-inspired, and student-initiated opportunities to rehearse and perform both on and off campus in a range of professional and community settings contribute to the dynamic atmosphere in the Department.

Featured Guests

Enriched Experiences

Students benefit from the active creative, scholarly, and community-based activities of our faculty, whose teaching and mentorship are informed by their ongoing professional work as performers, composers, and engaged scholars, resulting in a music program enriched by the intersections of these areas of research and creation.

Sound and Moving Image Library

Sound and Moving Image Library and Scott Library

York’s library system offers valuable research and performance resources that include scores, critical editions, films and recordings (notable for its collection of jazz and popular music recordings), a comprehensive holding of books and journals, and special collections including sheet music and the Mariposa archives.

MUSIC AT YORK STUDENTS

Getting Involved

Music Students Association

Music Students Association (MSA): The MSA is a student-run association that encourages and coordinates services and activities to enhance the University experience for students in the Department of Music.

Creative Arts Student Association

Creative Arts Student Association: Representing students in all areas of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, the Creative Arts Student Association (CASA) sponsors events throughout the year, including coffee houses in the Fireside Lounge every Wednesday with free coffee and themed snacks.